• Assessment and student learning : a fundamental relationship and the role of information and communication technologies

      Kirkwood, Adrian; Price, Linda (Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2008-02-18)
      This paper reviews the role of assessment in student learning and its relationship with the use of information and communication technologies (ICT). There is ample evidence of technology-led innovations failing to achieve the transformations expected by educators. We draw upon existing research to illustrate the links between aspects of student learning, assessment practices and the use of ICT. Assessment influences not only what parts of a course get studied, but also how those parts are studied. While the adoption of ICT does not, in itself, change student behaviours, appropriately designed assessment that exploits the potential of ICT can change students? approaches to learning. We argue that ICT can enable important learning outcomes to be achieved, but these must be underpinned by an assessment strategy that cues students to adopt a suitable approach to learning.
    • Assessment or referral tool: the unintended consequences of a dual purpose common assessment framework form

      Nethercott, Kathryn; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor and Francis, 2020-02-03)
      The Common Assessment Framework (CAF) was designed to facilitate early intervention through multi-agency working and the active involvement of families. The underlying principle was to move away from a risk-focused, needs-led or service-led culture to assess need and match needs to identified services. It was anticipated that services and assessments would become more evidence-based, and a common language between professionals and agencies would evolve. Taking a social constructionist approach this study explored professionals’ experiences of the use of the Common Assessment Framework form. Forty-one professionals from four different local authorities and a variety of agencies took part in semi-structured interviews. Data were analyzed utilizing thematic analysis. Findings suggest the unintended consequences of the use of the CAF were influenced by local authority policy. As the local authorities adopted the policy of utilizing the CAF as a referral mechanism, rather than to assess needs, profes-sionals unintentionally perceived the CAF form as a referral tool, to refer families to existing service provision. Further to this, professionals referred to the CAF form itself, as a ‘means to an end’, implying that this was a step that had to be overcome in order to access services.
    • The Common Assessment Framework form 9 years on: a creative process

      Nethercott, Kathryn (Wiley, 2016-04-19)
      Legislation within England states that local authorities should provide services for all those families in need. However, research has identified that regardless of the introduction of strategies to identify need and enhance family support, ongoing barriers to services adhere. Taking a social constructionist approach, this study explored professionals' experiences of the use of the Common Assessment Framework form. Data were collected in four different local authorities in two phases. Forty‐one professionals from a variety of agencies took part in semi‐structured interviews. Data were analyzed thematically. Findings demonstrate that the professionals experienced difficulties in working through the Common Assessment Framework process, for example, in completing the form and engaging families. This situation led to the more experienced and knowledgeable professionals utilising creative ways to successfully navigate the ‘referral process’. Such creative working practices included the terminology used to complete the form and how the process was ‘sold’ to parents, so that they could be in a better position to engage parents and complete the Common Assessment Framework form. Because of this, more experienced professionals seem to be able to accelerate the referral process in order to access much needed support services for children and young people.
    • Disrupting the dissertation: linked data, enhanced publication and algorithmic culture

      Tracy, Frances; Carmichael, Patrick (SAGE Publications, 2017-09-24)
      This article explores how the three aspects of Striphas’ notion of algorithmic culture (information, crowds and algorithms) might influence and potentially disrupt established educational practices.  We draw on our experience of introducing semantic web and linked data technologies into higher education settings, focussing on extended student writing activities such as dissertations and projects, and drawing in particular on our experiences related to undergraduate archaeology dissertations. The potential for linked data to be incorporated into electronic texts, including academic publications, has already been described, but these accounts have highlighted opportunities to enhance research integrity and interactivity, rather than considering their potential creatively to disrupt existing academic practices. We discuss how the changing relationships between subject content and practices, teachers, learners and wider publics both in this particular algorithmic culture, and more generally, offer new opportunities; but also how the unpredictability of crowds, the variable nature and quality of data, and the often hidden power of algorithms, introduce new pedagogical challenges and opportunities.
    • Ontology-based e-assessment for accounting education

      Litherland, Kate; Carmichael, Patrick; Martinez-Garcia, Agustina; Liverpool John Moores University; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2013-11-01)
      This summary reports on a pilot of a novel, ontology-based e-assessment system in accounting. The system, OeLe, uses emerging semantic technologies to offer an online assessment environment capable of marking students' free text answers to questions of a conceptual nature. It does this by matching their response with a ‘concept map’ or ‘ontology’ of domain knowledge expressed by subject specialists. This article describes the potential affordances and demands of ontology-based assessment and offers suggestions for future development of such an approach.
    • Ontology-based e-assessment for accounting: outcomes of a pilot study and future prospects

      Litherland, Kate; Carmichael, Patrick; Martinez-Garcia, Agustina; Liverpool John Moores University; University of Bedfordshire (Elsevier, 2013-04-23)
      This article reports on a pilot of a novel ontology-based e-assess- ment system in accounting that draws on the potential of emerging semantic technologies to produce an online assessment environ- ment capable of marking students’ free-text answers to questions of a conceptual nature. It does this by matching their response with a ‘‘concept map’’ or ‘‘ontology’’ of domain knowledge expressed by subject specialists. The system used, OeLe, allows not only for marking, but also for feedback to individual students and teachers about student strengths and weaknesses, as well as to whole cohorts, thus providing both a formative and a summative assess- ment function. This article reports on the results of a ‘‘proof of con- cept’’ trial of OeLe, in which the system was implemented and evaluated outside its original development environment (an online course in education being used instead in an undergraduate course in financial accounting. It describes the potential affordances and demands of implementing ontology-based assessment in account- ing, together with suggestions of what needs to be done if such approaches are to be more widely implemented.
    • Using interactive virtual field guides and linked data in geoscience teaching and learning

      Stott, Tim; Litherland, Kate; Carmichael, Patrick; Nuttall, Anne-Marie; Liverpool John Moores University (Springer, 2017-09-19)
      This chapter draws on experiences of designing, developing, using and evaluating web-based Virtual Field Guides (VFGs) for teaching geosciences at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU).  The chapter briefly reviews the previous use of VFGs to support students’ learning by fieldwork, highlighting some perceived benefits.  VFGs are considered to supplement real fieldwork, but not to become a substitute for it.  We then outline the design considerations, development and evaluation by LJMU students of two VFGs: (1) the Ingleton Waterfalls Trail in Yorkshire developed for Foundation degree students; (2) a Virtual Alps VFG developed for level 2 undergraduates. The design and development of these VFGs was undertaken using different approaches and the advantages and disadvantages of these different approaches are discussed.  The Ingleton Waterfalls VFG was developed by a team comprising two academics, one technician and two IT specialists.  Based on the experiences of developing the Ingleton Waterfalls VFG, the Virtual Alps VFG, on the other hand, was developed by two academics, with limited support/input from IT specialists. The technological background against which VFGs are used has changed rapidly and continues to do so, with 'Web 2.0' innovations, 'open data' initiatives, and interest in how 'user generated content' can be used to complement and extend existing databases and online collections.  These developments have changed not only the practice of geoscientists in general: they also offer new possibilities for VFGs and the role they play in teaching and learning. The chapter reviews some of these developments, in particular, the emergence of a 'linked web of data' for the geosciences, and concludes with a description and discussion of a pilot VFG which employs 'linked data' and 'semantic web' approaches to allow students to access diverse web based resources, to explore the relations between them, and to then draw on these in the course of more authentic assessment activities than has hitherto been the case.  The chapter concludes with a discussion of how the development of VFGs and their associated technologies might produce a shift in their use from being visual representation tools towards the use of them to develop skills necessary in practice, thus assimilating online tools into an expanding and evolving set of discourses and practices, rather than replacing or causing the loss of traditional disciplinary skills.